18 August 2009

My immediate goals...

I have been doing a lot of thinking this past week about where I am, where I want to go from here and what I want my life to be like.
I have come to the conclusion that I am pretty happy with my life in general but certain areas do need tweaked a little. Mainly, I need to remind myself that if I am not relaxed, healthy and happy I can't do much for anyone else.

Here is the list of my immediate goals...

1. Finish organizing at home. I firmly believe this will not only bring a more sense of calm to me but it will also free up some time in the long run.
Areas left to organize...
-Filing cabinet and personal organizer
-Hall closet
-Hutch in dining room
-Our bedroom closet
-Get all herbal, natural info together for easy reference.

2. Take the time to take better care of myself. I need to get in some exercise at least every other day. Plus, take the time to do my nails, take a bubble bath, the little things that make me feel better about me.

3. Create a little time each day to read or work on crafts. I used to do this in the evenings before bed to kind of unwind, not sure why it stopped but I haven't done it in a few years and need to start back.

4. Continue getting chemicals, additives, etc. out of our lives. This is so much harder than you realize, they area everywhere. Food wise, we do well thanks to Kevin Trudeau and Jordan Rubio whose books reinforced what I already knew and scared me to death a few years ago. We eat very little packaged food, we do not even own a microwave and I have very strong beliefs about medication and plastic. Cleaning products, I also do well. Now I am working on learning about shampoos, face creams, make-up, etc. This area of my life needs some work.

5. Continue working on stocking up the pantry. It is looking pretty good, but I would like to have supplies for a month or longer. Space is an issue right now though until we move. At least I know if we can't leave the house for a few weeks we have what we need right now.

6. Continue learning as much as I can about herbs for cooking and medicinal uses and ways to live a more sustainable life.

15 August 2009

It's the little things that count.

I used to buy 5 or 6 different magazines a month. For the last four or five years though I have cut that down to just one, Body and Soul. It is a wonderful magazine full of great articles each month but the September issue is fantastic. It has a special section about 'going green'. One part of the publishers letter really summed up the issue and also summed up my feelings on the topic.

"When it comes to changing the world, daily choices really do make a difference. We can create a better more sustainable future through the personal decisions we make today, from composting our kitchen scraps to commuting by train to purchasing compact florescent light bulbs. Healthier choices not only alter our own habits, they move mountains. Healthier purchases create a profound change in demand and supply. Every time the food you buy goes through the scanner at the supermarket, it is a vote with your dollars."

Some times it does get frustrating thinking of the state the world is in right now. It seems that so much is going on that surely me getting my groceries in plastic bags doesn't really make a difference but it does. I am constantly reminding myself that every little step that I take to create a more simple lifestyle the better it is for myself, my family and the world.

10 August 2009

My Weekend, A Confession and a good recipe...

Saturday I spent the morning and early afternoon doing odds and ends around the house. Mainly i was catching up on laundry, cleaning the kitchen, organizing a couple cabinets, etc...but it was at a leisurely pace not a speed demon gotta get this done pace. I hate that pace.
In the evening, my husbands TKD School had a demonstration at the annual Cruise Night held downtown. It was fun. I am always so amazed at not only what the students are capable of doing but that he is so good at teaching them. I am very proud of what he has done with his business in just three years.
After the demo we tried out a new restaurant in town...Tavern on 10th. The old building has been renovated nicely. It has a jazzy, blues type atmosphere to it. The menu is very limited though. Not a place for dinner, more for appetizers and listening to music.

Sunday we had a nice breakfast, nothing special, just simple scrambled eggs with green peppers and onions, whole wheat toast and sausage which we ate while reading the Sunday paper. Well, the St Louis Post because it has the best coupons plus our little town doesn't do a Sunday or holiday paper. Yep, you read right...NO Sunday paper! I know, it was a big adjustment for me too.
Went to a baby shower Sunday evening and then relaxed the rest of the night.

Now for my confession. I am addicted to the reality TV show Big Brother. It's odd because I'm not much of a TV watcher, I don't like 'reality' shows at all and I am not a big fan of people embarrassing themselves for ratings...BUT...I do like this show and have been a fan through all 11 seasons.

Ok now that I feel better about confessing my addiction here is my Sunday Dinner Chicken recipe. We have roasted chicken usually once a week because there are so many different things to do with the left over chicken. I do about three or four different recipes but here's the one I do the most.

One Whole Chicken
Juice from one lemon half...or 2-3 tablespoons bottled lemon juice
Black Pepper to taste
Two or three sprigs of rosemary
Two or three pinches of dried sage
Two or three sprigs of thyme

Sprinkle lemon juice on chicken and stick squeezed lemon half in cavity if desired. Put remaining spices on chicken. Bake in 350* oven for about an hour and a half, depending on size of chicken. Baste one or two times during baking. Juices will run clear when chicken is cooked through.


06 August 2009

A few great questions.

Wendy at wendyytb-overhaul.blogspot.com had a post yesterday that really got me thinking. Some of the questions she asked...
Is there something missing?
Is this really the way I want to spend the rest of my life?
What can I do to enhance the quality of my life, my families life?
These are questions I am really going to do some serious thinking about and set some concrete goals to get me where I want to be.

I do have to say that I think I am much closer to living the life I want than I was four years ago, but I still have a long way to go.

For starters, I now live in a MUCH smaller community which is something I desperately had wanted for awhile. The population where we moved from was over 600,000 in the county. Here it is about 16,000. One of the first things hubby and I noticed when moving here was the friendly, neighborly people. It also seems most people here live within their means and do not seem to be as interested in consumerism or keeping up with the "joneses" or thinking it is cool to pay outrageous prices for things. There is not a convenience store on every corner, too many shops or restaurants to even think about going to or two to three banks on every single street. It is a great little town, I love it here.

We are now closer to family and can see them much more frequently than the once every year or two that we did for 20 years while living in Florida. It is nice to be more apart of their day to day lives and to be closer in case something happens and they may need us. I firmly believe that when families started separating and moving all over the country it started a downward spiral in our society. I think a lot of consumerism along with other things has stemmed from people trying to fill the void that not having strong roots and a strong support system causes.

We did get rid of a lot of unnecessary STUFF when we moved but I am now working on simplifying and organizing even more. If it does not serve a purpose...it is going. I am going to be ruthless. LOL Paper seems to be one of the biggest unorganized messes for me. I have begun to clean out the file cabinet and make it more user friendly. I also am starting to put together a personal organizer for all important information so that it will all be in one place and possibly help keep things in line. I have learned that when I am organized, stick to lists and a routine my life does run much smoother.

Well, after I do some thinking on Wendy's questions I will get back to this topic.

05 August 2009

Great New Kitchen Helpers

The weekend I got two great new kitchen helpers.
The first is a Wilton loaf pan that has a meatloaf insert so that while cooking the meatloaf all the grease goes down to the pan underneath instead of sitting there soaking your meat. The two pans are a really good weight and quality. I had been wanting a deeper loaf pan and while looking at Target Saturday found this one. Well I can tell you, it is awesome and it works. I have been fixing meatloaf various ways for many, many years and my hubby and I both agree...the one I cooked Sunday in my new pan was the BEST one yet.

The second is a Kitchen Aid processor...in red (favorite color), a great surprise from my Mom. I hadn't told her I wanted on but yes it was on my with list. I LOVE it!! I have already been planning all the wonderful things I can make with it. I used it Sunday night to help in the meatloaf prep and last night while making salsa and it does a fantastic job.

I make all kinds of different meatloaf depending on what I have on hand and what I feel like that particular day. Here's what I did this time. Simple but really delicious.

1 pound ground beef
12 Ritz crackers
1 Egg
1 small onion
1 whole cayenne pepper
1 or two sprigs of fresh oregano
3-4 tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce

I used the Kitchen Aid to make the cracker crumbs, dice the onion, pepper and oregano and then added all ingredients in a bowl and mixed by hand. Bake at 350 for about an hour.